The people are tired and have had it. Whether it be financial freedom, issues with racism and injustice, or being just plain tired of being under the constructs of the United States of America, celebrities from Stevie Wonder and more are, and have been, expressing their desire to leave and take up residence elsewhere.
Legendary singer Tina Turner is one of those that made her exit out of the United States and claimed citizenship elsewhere. Turner began her illustrious career in the late 1950s during a time when the Jim Crow laws were in full effect. While many Black performers were revered and their music was loved by various audiences, it was still a struggle to be accepted in different regions, especially the South.
Tina Turner saw success in the United States, but achieved much greater success and stardom overseas. Perhaps it came to a surprise to much of her fans that the Nutbush, Tennessee native had relocated from America to Zurich, Switzerland. In a 1997 interview with Larry King Live, Turner revealed that she had left America because her “success and boyfriend were in another country.” Larry King then reminded her that she was indeed a superstar in America, to which she replied that she was “not as big as Madonna. I’m as big as, in some places, the Rolling Stones.” Years later, in 2013, it was revealed that Tina Turner would formally be relinquishing her U.S. citizenship in favor of a Swiss citizenship. “I’m very happy in Switzerland and I feel at home here,” she said to German newspaper Blick. “I cannot imagine a better place to live.”
Rapper and television personality, Eve, also made the decision to relocate to London after finding love. “There are so many cultures and sounds, and people and fashion,” said the Philadelphia native to Essence. “Chicks are so fly. I live in a neighborhood where there’s a lot of West Indian culture, so it’s nice.”
In the past elections, many celebrities vowed that if Trump were to be re-elected, they would make their exit out of the United States. Two of Trump’s most vocal critics, John Legend and Chrissy Tiegen, were a part of the bunch that said they would consider leaving. In an interview with Cosmopolitan U.K., the couple expressed that it would admittedly be “hard to leave” due to them being born here as well as the prospect of leaving their families behind. But due to the state of the nation’s “embarrasing” leadership at the time, they shared that the thought crossed their minds “every once in a while.”
“…I don’t know what one’s supposed to do when you have a leader who is trying to destroy democracy,” John Legend said to the magazine. The disturbing behaviors of people in leadership led the singer to consider “going somewhere that is a true democracy, that has respect for the rule of law and human rights.”
R&B singer Jill Scott recently expressed that she might pack up her son and move to Holland, because raising a Black son in America is “terrifying.” Speaking with Jemele Hill on her podcast Jemele Hill is Unbothered, the “A Long Walk” singer noted that in specific other countries there are “certain things that you don’t have to deal with.” Jill Scott shared that her reasons for choosing Holland would be because of their phenomenal healthcare system and education, among many other things. “I like the idea of people being able to be free, as long as they’re not harming anybody,” she said to Jemele Hill.
Perhaps one that would sadden many of his American fans was the “Ribbon In The Sky” singer, Stevie Wonder. Even Oprah Winfrey was stunned when he expressed that he had plans to permanently relocate to Ghana in November of 2020. Citing his concerns for his family as part of the reason for wanting to leave, Stevie Wonder said to Oprah, “I don’t want to see my children’s, children’s children have to say, ‘Oh please like me! Please respect me! Please know that I am important! Please value me!’ What is that?” Stevie Wonder has also expressed his desire to move to Ghana in the early 90s. During his 1994 speech to the International Association of African American Music. “There’s more of a sense of community,” said Wonder in his speech.
Would you be sad if Stevie Wonder, or your favorite celebrity, decided to move out of the U.S.?